Liz Truss Used To Think Public Sector Workers Should Travel Economy To Save Money

The foreign secretary has been criticised for taking a £500,000 private government jet to Australia.
Liz Truss has defended the huge cost of the flight to Australia
Liz Truss has defended the huge cost of the flight to Australia
Aaron Chown via PA Wire/PA Images

Liz Truss once called on public sector workers to travel economy class to save money - then went on the spend £500,000 on a private government jet to Australia.

The foreign secretary has been accused of an “obscene” waste of cash over the trade flight Down Under.

Critics said she should have used a much cheaper commercial flight from London instead.

It has now emerged that in 2007, Truss co-authored a report for the Reform think tank in which she urged public sector employees to treat taxpayers’ money like their own.

She said: “Every public sector worker should feel personal responsibility for the money they spend and the money they save.

“They should spend taxpayers’ money with at least the care they would give to their own. This change of mindset would be reflected in everyday changes such as travelling by economy rather than business class.”

On BBC’s Question Time, one audience member pointed out the apparent conflict between the minister’s words and actions.

Truss defended chartering the private jet, saying: “I used the government plane. That is why we have a government plane.

“That is why we have a government plane: to enable government ministers to conduct government business, and that’s what I flew to Australia in.”

But Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, slammed Truss for the “ridiculous waste” of public money.

“Liz Truss shows the public exactly quite how little respect this Conservative government has for taxpayers,” she said.

“This government is brazen in its disregard for upholding decency.

“It is obscene that government ministers are jet setting yet are hiking taxes and refusing to do anything to help working families when they are feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis.

“Tories waste disgusting amounts of public money on their own vanity and comfort, Labour wants to see families see a cut to energy bills - that is the difference.”


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